A Large Ottoman Anam-i Sharif
The Anam-i Sharif is a Sunni prayerbook that takes its name from the Surah al-Anam , the sixth surah in the Qur’an, which is usually one of the first surah to feature in the text along with other prayers and a series of hadith. This prayer book can be seen as an adaptation of Jazuli’s Dala’il al-Khayrat because of the inclusion of the Mecca and Medina imagery, however, the Anam-i Sharif includes a wide range of additional illustrations that are not present in Jazuli’s text. These illustrations commonly relate to the Prophet Muhammad and items of eschatological relevance such as the prophet’s mantle, seal, prayer rug and rosary along with other utensils used to perform his daily purification and prayer. Such images came to have enhanced power in the Ottoman world after the Sultans began to assiduously collect actual relics of the Prophet, and devotional images of such things became greatly sought after among the Ottoman elite.
These prayer books are usually small and easily portable so they can be carried with the devout and used for daily prayers. However, the present manuscript is in an unusually large format, perhaps for artistic effect, in order to make the hilyas and calligraphic panels particularly striking.